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Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

#Azure November newsletter

November 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Once again I’m amazed of the pace that Microsoft releases new innovative and great service in Azure! Just love it! 🙂

Free e-book: Enterprise Cloud Strategy

What if you were able to achieve both efficiency and innovation in your business domains and applications across your entire portfolio? What if you could take advantage of the cloud and all its resources and features? With a good road map and strategy, you can. Download the free e-book, Enterprise Cloud Strategy, and find ways to build your own road map to success.

Download the free e-book

Advancing our ambition to democratize artificial intelligence

Microsoft recently announced a new partnership with OpenAI, a nonprofit AI research organization co-founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and Ilya Sutskever. Together we hope to make significant contributions to advance the field of AI, and make it more accessible to every developer and every organization. Read more about the partnership and why OpenAI chose Azure as the primary cloud platform from Harry Shum, Microsoft Executive Vice President of AI and Research and Sam Altman, co-founder, OpenAI (and be sure to watch the video about why they chose Azure). Also, visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Connect(); // 2016: Keynotes and technical sessions available on demand

Missed the Microsoft Connect(); developer event? Catch up on all the news and keynotes or dive right into any of the technical sessions on Visual Studio, .NET, Xamarin, DevOps, Azure, Data with Intelligent Apps, UWP, developing for Office and more! Browse the on-demand content.

G-Series instances now available for Azure Cloud Services

G-Series instances are available in Azure Cloud Services in all regions where G-Series instances for Azure Virtual Machines are currently offered. They feature the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family and provide unparalleled computational performance, substantial memory, and robust local solid-state drive (SSD) storage.

VMware backup now available in Azure Backup

VMware backup in Azure Backup helps protect virtual machines running on the VMware platform, on-premises or in the cloud. If you run backups on-premises, this new capability helps you meet requirements for operational recovery. If you back up your information to the cloud, you can meet long-term compliance rules and have an offsite copy of your data. For more information, visit the Operations Management Suite | Protection & Recovery webpage.

In-Memory OLTP for Azure SQL Database generally available

You can use In-Memory OLTP, a feature of Azure SQL Database, to achieve incredible performance gains (up to 30 times) for transaction processing and data ingestion in Premium databases, with no or minimal changes to the application. Memory-optimized tables, memory-optimized table types, and natively compiled T-SQL modules are now available in all Premium databases, including databases in Premium elastic pools. For more information, read the Microsoft Azure SQL Database provides unparalleled performance with In-Memory technologies blog post.

Azure SQL Database Long-Term Retention in public preview

For applications with compliance or operational requirements to retain data, Azure SQL Database now offers Long-Term Retention (LTR). With just a few clicks, you can easily enable your databases to create weekly backups stored in your own Azure Backup vault and extend the retention period built into SQL Database from 35 days to up to 10 years. The backups in the vault are restorable and are automatically deleted after your configured retention period. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Azure Content Delivery Network adds new features for better performance, real-time management, and mobile users

Azure Content Delivery Network is a multi-CDN platform that offers massively scalable, secure delivery of content with accelerated performance. New capabilities include the ability to set up real-time alerts about delivery anomalies, such as bandwidth and cache status, and a mobile rules engine where you can customize rules and features targeted to mobile devices, such as device model and operating system. Visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Azure Active Directory Domain Services generally available

Azure Active Directory Domain Services offers scalable, high-performance, managed services such as domain join, LDAP, Kerberos, Windows Integrated Authentication, and Group Policy support. With the click of a button, administrators can enable managed domain services for Linux and Windows virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure infrastructure services. By maintaining compatibility with Windows Server Active Directory, Azure Active Directory Domain Services gives you an easy way to migrate traditional on-premises applications to the cloud.

Azure HDInsight introduces advanced security capabilities in public preview

Azure HDInsight has several new key security capabilities. It integrates with Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Services for enterprise-grade authentication and identity management. HDInsight also integrates with Apache Ranger for a central policy and management portal where administrators can maintain fine-grained control policies over Hadoop data access, components, and services. Data processed by HDInsight is stored in Azure Data Lake Store or Azure Storage. Both offer server-side encryption to secure data at rest.

Azure Data Factory adds more connectors and achieves higher speeds

Azure Data Factory allows you to bring data from a rich variety of locations into Azure for advanced analytics and predictive modeling. We recently added support for FTP/S, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Parquet file format. Load speeds have also been greatly enhanced: you can now load into Azure SQL Data Warehouse at 1.2 GBps and load into Azure Data Lake Store and Azure Blob Storage at over 1.0 GBps.

Azure Analysis Services in public preview

Built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure Analysis Services delivers enterprise-grade Business Intelligence semantic modeling capabilities with the scale, flexibility, and management benefits of the cloud. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Continue reading here!
//Richard

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – #Nutanix, #WebScale, #Dell, #EnvokeIT, #Gartner

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

As usual it’s very interesting when Gartner takes a look at the trends for the coming year. I must say that I agree with many of them, one of the trends is very close to my heart and what I think should have been on the agenda of most CIO’s prior to 2015, and this is: Web-Scale IT.

Why haven’t more enterprise and solution architects been looking earlier at how to simplify the delivery of the “commodity” service that IaaS should be in todays IT world. Yes I know that most enterprises have a “legacy” environment that is hard to just transform, they have a service delivery organisation with certain competences and are being bombarded by salesmen from the older legacy providers that this new way is scary (up until they themselves come up with a story on web-scale of course). But it’s time to wake up and look at how you can change your Compute, Network and Storage components to reduce complexity, increase flexibility/agility, focus on core business (apps and services on top) and also reduce your TCO.

One way is of course to move to the cloud and let someone else bother about this, but I yet don’t see that the larger enterprises are looking at this and there is a hesitation though most haven’t gotten to the point of understanding the TCO model and how to compare their As-Is costs to the cost that they get from the costing tools of Azure, Amazon etc. Why is this? My view is that most don’t have a clear understanding of their own As-Is TCO, they understand how much a server costs, and storage costs, but not the TCO when it comes to facility/datacenter costs, power & cooling, HW costs, support and operational costs, license costs and the overview of that in a TCO model they can understand or compare with “the cloud”.

Ok, as usual I’m getting a bit sidetracked but I love this topic and I must encourage you to contact EnvokeIT if you need help to understand the Web-Scale IT concept and how it can add value to you and your business. We work with Nutanix and Dell and can assist in assessing your existing As-Is solution and forming the To-Be target architecture and the strategy to get there based on your requirements and needs. Of course we’re not locked into Dell or Nutanix and have experience within Azure and other public cloud providers as well as other hardware vendor solutions like HP, NetApp etc.

If you like to see a really cool solution that is coming then have a look at my previous post including a short and cool video: Dell + Nutanix = awesome!

Here we have the top 10 trends for 2015 that Gartner have identified:

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, October 5-9 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
Read more…

#Nutanix Announces Global Agreement with #Dell

Wow! This is interesting! 😀

Strategic Relationship Significantly Expands Access and Distribution of Nutanix Solutions with Dell’s World-Class Hardware, Services and Marketing to Accelerate Adoption of Web-scale Converged Infrastructure in the Enterprise

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – June 24, 2014 – Nutanix, the leading provider of next-generation datacenter infrastructure solutions, today announced it has signed an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Dell to offer a new family of converged infrastructure appliances based on Nutanix web-scale technology. The combination of Nutanix’s groundbreaking software running on Dell’s industry-leading servers delivers a flexible, scale-out platform that brings IT simplicity to modern datacenters. The Nutanix and Dell collaboration is designed from the ground up to deliver innovative web-scale technology to enterprises of any size. The agreement also includes joint sales, marketing, support and service investments, as well as alignment of product roadmaps.

The new Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances will be built with Nutanix software running on Dell PowerEdge servers, and will be available in multiple variants to meet a wide range of price and performance options. The appliances will deliver high-performance converged infrastructure ideal for powering a broad spectrum of popular enterprise use cases, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), virtualized business applications, multi-hypervisor environments and more. Nutanix’s web-scale software runs on all popular virtualization hypervisors, including VMware vSphere™, Microsoft Hyper-V™ and open source KVM, and is uniquely able to span multiple hypervisors in the same environment. The Dell XC Series appliances are scheduled for availability in the fourth quarter of this year and will be sold by Dell sales teams and channel partners worldwide.

“Nutanix is a recognized leader in the converged infrastructure market with a software-driven offering that fits with Dell’s efforts to redefine datacenter economics and simplify IT for our customers,” said Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager, Dell Storage. “By combining market-leading infrastructure and software technologies from both companies with Dell’s world-class go-to-market capabilities, we believe our new solutions will be positioned to be a significant player in the growing, multi-billion dollar converged infrastructure market.”

“Dell is a world-class leader in servers, storage and networking, and has established itself as a valuable IT partner for many of the world’s largest organizations,” said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO, Nutanix. “Nutanix is teaming with Dell to accelerate our global sales growth through Dell’s vast direct and channel sales networks. In Dell, we chose a company that shares our vision of disrupting traditional datacenter infrastructures with intelligent software running on x86 hardware to power all datacenter services.” Read more…

NutaniXpress – January 2014 – #Nutanix, #IaaS, #Virtualization, #Storage

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Great NutaniXpress release!!!! There is a good prediction and I must say that I’m really impressed with this company and their product!!!

Read the whole NutaniXpress January 2014 article here!

Deliver High Performance & Scalable Microsoft Exchange with NutanixWith more than 50% of Microsoft Exchange installations now virtualized, it is critical to select the right server and storage architecture to support such critical workloads. Read this solution brief to learn how the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform overcomes the challenges of legacy storage architectures and makes for an ideal solution for your Microsoft Exchange virtualization needs. Microsoft Exchange

Learn More: Microsoft Exchange Solution Brief

 

Microsoft SQL Server on Nutanix:
Best PracticesThis document makes recommendations for the design, optimization and scaling of Microsoft SQL Server deployments on Nutanix. It shows the scalability of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform and provides detailed performance and configuration information on the scale-out capabilities of the cluster when leveraged for MSSQL deployments.
Microsoft SQL Server

Learn More: Microsoft SQL Server on Nutanix: Best Practices

  Read more…

VMware acquires AirWatch! – #EMM, #MDM, #BYOD, #VMware, #AirWatch

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

This is really interesting! I’m not that surprised though, it was about time VMware did something!

I must agree with a lot of people who have written about this, they are really going for a leader! So they mean business! Will be fun to see how well the can integrate this into their offerings and how that will look like.

VMware buys AirWatch for $1.54 billion, acquires mobility strategy

VMware will acquire AirWatch, a mobile device management company, in a $1.17 billion cash deal that will give the virtualization software provider a play in mobility. VMware will also pay $365 million in installment payments and unvested stock options.

airwatch stack

 

Mobile device management has been a hot sector desperately in need of consolidation given there are more than 100 vendors. Large enterprises increasingly want mobile device management put together with content management and collaboration. VMware’s acquisition follows IBM’s purchase of FiberLink and Citrix’s acquisition of Xenprise in 2013.

VMware’s spin is that AirWatch will give it a foothold in mobility as well as its end-user computing strategy, which revolves around desktop virtualization and delivering enterprise apps to tablets and smartphones.

Here’s Gartner’s Magic Quadrant on the sector.

mdm-magic-quadrant-559x593

According to VMware, AirWatch will continue to be led by CEO John Marshall. AirWatch will be lumped into VMware’s end-user computing group, which… continue reading here!

VMWare Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire AirWatch

Acquisition will Provide Customers with the Most Complete Solution to Manage Users, Devices and Applications across Desktop and Mobile Environments.

PALO ALTO, Calif., January 22, 2014 – VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, and AirWatch today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which VMware will acquire AirWatch, the leading provider of enterprise mobile management and security solutions. VMware will acquire AirWatch for approximately $1.175B in cash and approximately $365M of installment payments and assumed unvested equity. The AirWatch team will continue to report to founder and chief executive officer John Marshall as part of VMware’s End-User Computing group, led by Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM. Alan Dabbiere, AirWatch’s cofounder and chairman, will be overseeing a new AirWatch operating board which will report to Pat Gelsinger, VMware chief executive officer.

“AirWatch provides best-in-class, secure, enterprise-mobile management to thousands of businesses around the world,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “With this acquisition VMware will add a foundational element to our end-user computing portfolio that will… continue reading here!

//Richard

#Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix

August 19, 2013 2 comments

I don’t know if you all agree but I find that Microsoft is making some really good strategic decisions to align themselves and be ready for the “next generation” workplace and client services. Everyone has been talking about BYOx and that everyone will bring their own device and consume business services and functions on that device in parallel to doing personal stuff.

But has BYOD taken off yet?

I personally think that it hasn’t to the extent that many thought it would, there are some companies in some countries that have adopted it for some use cases and user categories, but the majority is still struggling with it though their business apps and functions aren’t really there to support this way of working yet.

Even if they have a NetScaler or similar remote access capabilities with some sort of Desktop and App virtualization (like Citrix XenDesktop) to run the apps it’s still not enough. How do you solve the offline working scenario? And isn’t hosted apps and desktops just a legacy workaround until those business processes have been SaaS’ified? And what about “dropbox” alternatives, H: drives and G: drives, Sharepoint data etc. There is still a user data mess (read my earlier post on this) that needs to be solved and especially a “mega aggregator” tool for getting data/content and synch across devices in a secure manner (data also encrypted at rest on ALL devices and not just mobiles)…

Microsoft is kind of stepping up here I must say from a strategy point of view that makes me believe in them, even though I’ve said that no one ever will take my MacBook Air from me! Have a look at the features that are coming with Windows 8.1 to support a more “semi-controlled” or “semi-trusted” device, and the new cloud services like Azure AD, Windows Intunes offerings in combination with the online messaging and collaboration Office 365 services. And they are apparently also working on a “legacy” cloud service to offer desktops as a service (DaaS) as I wrote in a previous blog post as well.

I think that Microsoft is moving in the right direction towards offering the next generation enterprise IT services and to support the new way of working, and fast!

Have a look at these posts/articles on the news in Windows 8.1:

Everything you need, right from (the) Start

Microsoft is focused on delivering one experience across all the devices in your life. The centerpiece of that strategy and experience are the Microsoft services and apps that come right from (the) Start on your new Windows device.

This is the first blog post in a series that will highlight the apps and services driving toward this “one experience” vision. This experience comes to life through more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services that come as part of Windows 8.1, including a new one that we are announcing today – Skype, right from (the) Start!

Apps_Graphic_White_REV

It’s where you want to go today….

Read more…

What will happen to #XenServer now? – #Citrix, #Virtualization, #IaaS

This is a question that I get a lot these days…. what will happen to XenServer now when Citrix has handed it over to the open source community and that it will be available at XenServer.org. Have they really handed it over, if you think yes; what did they then hand over then though it’s been open source based all along?

Well I suggest that you read a bit about the product strategy etc in this release from Citrix on what the view is:

Key Messages and FAQs for Customers

On June 25, 2013, Citrix announced the availability of the Citrix XenServer 6.2 virtualization platform, which is the first XenServer offering to deliver a full featured, open-source, freely available software package. Citrix is also introducing a new XenServer.org community portal to provide source code access and drive innovation and collaboration around server virtualization and cloud. 

Why the change to open source? 

Citrix is advancing its strategy around open source with the launch of the XenServer.org community portal to drive innovation, collaboration and discussion around XenServer. As evidenced by the strong industry response to phase 1 of this strategy (move Xen to the Linux Foundation, April 15), open source provides us with a way to better engage with ecosystem partners to enable innovation. Open source also provides alignment with the dominant cloud orchestration platforms of CloudStack and OpenStack and meets cloud builder expectations for source code availability and open APIs. Our move to an open source strategy was chosen for several reasons. 

1. Open source is in the Xen / XenSource DNA. 

2. Open source software is leading proprietary software in cloud infrastructure. 

3. Open source enables collaborative development that drives public trust. 

4. Open source communities empower users and broaden market reach. 

What is the new XenServer product strategy? 

Read more…

Free whitepaper: Enterprise #Architecture and ITIL: Implementing Service Strategy

Have a look at this free whitepaper!

In the previous paper “Enterprise Architecture and ITIL: Where is the Value in ITIL?” Trevor Lea-Cox looked at why and under what circumstances Service Management, the focus of ITIL® is important.

Essentially Service Management is important because the concept and use of services is a powerful mechanism for structuring and managing the growth of an organization, including the IT function.  As the IT function grows, IT Services reach a level of complexity where they can no longer be managed on an informal basis.  ITIL provides the best practice guidelines for managing IT Services on a (progressively) more formal basis.

In this paper Trevor will:

  • Review (briefly) the recommendations of ITIL for developing and managing a Service Strategy for IT Services.
  • Try to clarify what is meant by an “IT Service”.
  • Then apply these principles to managing a small EA department within an IT function.

Register and download here!

//Richard

VDI Smackdown: Head-to-head analysis of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft etc… via @rpruijt

Great work!!!! 🙂 Continue reading!!!

by Ruben Spruijt 

Are you looking for an independent overview of desktop virtualization solutions and curious about the different strategy questions? Do you want detailed information about the features and functions each desktop virtualization vendor is offering!? If so the VDI Smackdown you definitely must read!
In the current market there is an increasing demand for unbiased information about desktop virtualization solutions. This white paper is focused on solutions that are anticipated to have an important role in desktop virtualization deployments. An overview of available features of each solution has been created to allow an understanding and comparison of capabilities.

The latest solutions included in the feature matrix are: Citrix XenDesktop 5.6FP1, Citrix VDI-in-a-Box 5.2, Dell vWorkspace 7.6, Microsoft RDVH Windows8/Server 2012 and VMware View 5.2; The English whitepaper can be downloaded here. The Japanese version will be available as soon as possible.

Empowering the end-user by giving access to Windows, Web and Mobile applications so he can access data and information systems from both private and public datacenters regardless of the device or location is the ultimate strategic objective.
The delivery of the classic (Windows) desktop interface can be divided in two segments:

  • the classic desktop and laptop, running Windows, Linux or Mac OS X;
  • the virtual desktop running in the datacenter or local on the classic workstation.

In essence “desktop virtualization” is the de-coupling of the desktop, operating system and the applications from the underlying endpoint or device. This kind of virtualization can be subdivided into two types:

  • With the first type applications are executed remotely, server hosted, and presented at the endpoint via a remote display protocol.
  • With the second type applications are executed at the endpoint, client-side and presented locally.

Making Windows, Web and Mobile applications available to the end-user, regardless of the technology being used, is an important strategic objective of an advanced IT infrastructure. The Virtual Desktop (vDesktop) is an essential component in the range of Application and Desktop delivery solutions and in essence, it provides the following functions:

  • Flexibility: Detach the vDesktop from the endpoint; Several vDesktops can be used next to one another
  • BYO: enables delivery of applications and desktops for BYO scenario’s;
  • Access: vDesktop works independently of location, endpoint and network;
  • Security: Server Hosted – VDI; data in the computing center;
  • Freedom: Every user can have his own desktop with administrator privileges when needed;
  • Management: Centrally managed and hardware independent;
  • Legacy: It is simple to offer legacy applications on a state-of-the-art platform;
  • Sustainability: Power Management, handling the necessary resources in an efficient manner

The transition to a dynamic and optimized desktop is causing many IT organizations to reevaluate traditional IT operations, deployment, delivery, packaging, support, and management methods.
Desktop virtualization is a key component in the optimized desktop. It’s important to have a Vision and Strategy around application and desktop delivery and enterprise mobility. Designing, building, managing and maintaining the desktop virtualization…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Citrix Nails Its Enterprise Mobility Strategy – #XenMobile, #BYOD – via @ekhnaser

Read this great article and see if you agree! 😉

Citrix Nails Its Enterprise Mobility Strategy

I have been very pleased with the strategy, execution and the road map that Citrix has developed around Enterprise Mobility. With the announcement of XenMobile MDM and the Mobile Solutions bundle, I can very easily say that the Citrix solution is the most complete and feature-rich offering on the market today.

XenMobile MDM is simply a name change for Zenprise, which Citrix acquired a few months earlier. I expected Citrix to simply change the “Z” to “X” and keep the name, but I guess Citrix marketing did not find that as amusing. That is not the only change that occurred: A new version of “Zenprise” also accompanies this release, and XenMobile MDM now brings it to version 8.0.1.

Many customers and colleagues have asked me why Citrix acquired an MDM provider — what are the value-adds and isn’t the world moving towards MAM anyway? To answer, we have to make a clear distinction between the use cases. I agree and concur that for BYOD initiatives, MAM is a better, cleaner way of doing this things and that MDM is not the ideal solution.

That being said, there are plenty of use cases where MDM is the only solution that makes sense and I will give you real-world examples. Have you heard of the “Belly” card? It is a customer recognition and rewards program from a company HQ’ed in Chicago that offers merchants a locked down iPad for display in their place of business. Customers can come in and scan their mobile phones on the iPad provided and after a certain number of check-ins they are offered a reward for their loyalty. In this case, belly would have very little use for MAM; they need an MDM solution to manage the thousands of iPads they have deployed.

Another example: United Airlines and American Airlines allow customers to use mobile devices in the cabin to purchase goods in-flight. Obviously, the airlines don’t want the flight attendants to use their own device for this, MDM shines again here.

Finally, what about financial institutions that want to continue to issue corporate-managed devices of different flavors? It’d be for security reasons, obviously. In this case, MDM shines.

When I see bloggers and analysts disqualify MDM, they are not thinking beyond BYOD, where the business world could have a use case built around an application they issue on a mobile device.

Did Citrix strike gold with its acquisition of Zenprise? I will say this much: It was one of the best acquisitions the company has ever made. The natural follow-up question is, what about CloudGateway? And my answer is, it is the glue that holds everything together and is the most important product in the Citrix solution today. Everything will go through CloudGateway moving forward and at version 2.5 has the following features:

  • Enterprise app store with identity management capabilities for a single sign-on like experience
  • Windows Applications and Desktops through XenApp and XenDesktop
  • Mobile applications integration, provisioning, etc.
  • SaaS applications integration, provisioning, etc
  • Integration with Citrix ShareFile for enterprise DropBox functionality

CloudGateway also has a connector for Citrix Podio, and here I’ll be critical of Citrix the same way I’m critical of VMware for not integrating SocialCast. Why Citrix doesn’t make Podio…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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